A home is a special place; it is where we nurture relationships, make a family, retire to at the end of a long day, and find peace in. Because you are a first time home buyer, you have to be extra careful about the aspects that are involved in home buying. Here is a step-wise procedure that should be followed while buying a house. I call it the top-to-bottom procedure since we will be discussing the issue from the top, i.e. from the most important aspect, to the bottom, i.e. the least (but not lacking in importance) but comparatively less important point.
Issue 1. The most important and personal issue of all is, your budget. How much are you willing or how much can you afford to spend on buying a home? The rest that follows largely depend on this one. Here is where you have to plan the payment scheme that you can undertake for the purchase.
If taking a home loan, what is the limit that you can get on your current salary and what are the interest rates, payback schemes, and home insurance schemes? You have to visit multiple banks before choosing the one that is right for you. However, I would suggest you to do a rough inquiry and not make any paper-based deals unless you've dealt with other important matters first.
Note: Issue 2 and 3 may be combined as one; some may find Issue 2 more important than Issue 3 or vice versa.
Issue 2. Now, depending on Issue 1, decide what type of home you prefer. Since this is your first home, you have to make the selection by considering the number of members in your family. Whether you want an apartment, a cottage, a bungalow, a row-house, a farmhouse, a villa, a micro-apartment, etc, will solely depend on how many people will be living in it, or if you will be occupying it alone.
Issue 3. This issue covers the point regarding the location of the house from the city limits, convenience store, place of work (including your partner's), school (if you have children), hospital, police station, and the like.
Issue 4. Now, you can think about the surrounding aspects like the locality of the house. Can you deal with a bustling locality or do you prefer pin-drop silence? Remember, Issue 1 will vary a little depending on your decision, since the location can change if you're particular about noise, pollution, privacy, and the like.
Issue 5. If any of the houses that you've checked
out interest you, try not to disclose enthusiasm until you've run a background check on the builder(s) and the property where the house sits. You can sift through government records that are kept at a center, and look into additional documents regarding the deed of the land.
If you have selected an apartment and it was previously owned by someone else, inquire from neighbors or other sources about its previous inhabitants. You may also want check the adjoining/lower/upper apartments that are identical to the one you like, to get an idea of how your apartment will look once its furnished. If you opt for a house that is still under construction, you can ask the builder what type of construction methods he intends to employ ,with respect to materials used, which contractor/company is supplying the material, and the like.
If you are constructing your own house through a contractor, remember to keep a close eye on the raw materials and the mounting bills. If it is a co-operative housing accommodation, inquire about the society's policies and services like water supply, gas, electricity, health clubs, common facilities, maintenance tax, parking, security, etc.
Issue 6. After you have covered the exterior of the house, take a good look at the interiors to make sure that it is up to the mark, and that nothing has been done unprofessionally or hurriedly.
Issue 7. Based on issue 5 and 6, once you have selected the house, do a little research on the market value of the place from local real estate agents and brokers. If the price demanded for the house is not appropriate according to you, find out about this from the builder or the person selling the house. Negotiate on logical terms and see if any alterations can be done about the financial aspects.
Issue 8. Negotiate the payment scheme with the house owner as well as the bank (in case you are getting a loan). Depending on the above issues, you must decide on your payment scheme ratio, i.e. cash:loan. If you find the loan schemes beneficial, you can bend the ratio towards the loan. Also, discuss the possession date after adhering and looking over the terms and conditions, by finalizing the deal on the appropriate government stamp paper. Consult a real estate attorney for this purpose if you aren't familiar with how to handle the legalities of such a deal.
If you are hiring an interior decorator or landscape architect for remodeling the house, convey your requirements clearly to him and keep the whole business documented.